24
Jul
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If you've ordered (or picked up) your Chromecast dongle and you're raring to start sharing content from your devices to your television, you can take one more step to get ready by downloading the official Google Cast extension.

Community Manager Moritz Tolxdorff posted to Google+ earlier this evening encouraging users to download the extension, which will allow the sharing of media and tabs straight from Chrome to a Chromecast-connected TV.

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For those who missed the news or need a refresher, the Chromecast is sort of like a Nexus Q in thumb drive format (though it uses HDMI) – it allows users to stream video, music, and Chrome tabs to just about any television it's plugged into with the tap of a button.

It accomplishes this using a slimmed version of Chrome OS which will fetch the URL to the media you're controlling, streaming it from the cloud to your TV. The device can stream Netflix and Pandora, along with Google's own media offerings like YouTube, Play Music, and Play Movies and TV.

Google made an effort in today's event to point out that users would not be "forced" to use the same OS on all their devices for this to work, making the Chromecast a nifty (and inexpensive) solution for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Chrome users.

Hit the link below to download, or see Tolxdorff's original post.

Download: Google Cast Source: Google+

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • mgamerz

    I'm curious. How do you associate it with your wifi if it has no remote control? I hope it doesn't rely on WPS being available. Perhaps you can plug into it with the USB?

    • Sam Hollis

      It generates a temporary wifi hotspot when being set up. The hotspot will redirect your browser to a page to input your information before disappearing.

      • mgamerz

        Wow that's pretty smart.

      • Mental_Moose

        But this means that you _have_ to have another wireless device to set it up? Or is there other alternatives?
        Not that this is a problem, as I have several. Just curious :)

        • Thomas’

          Well, how do you want to use Chromecast w/o any device having WiFi? ;-)

          • Mental_Moose

            My hardwired computer?
            Not that this will be a problem anyway.
            As I said: I have many wireless devices and I'm simply curious about how it works.

  • jim

    Can I mirror my galaxy s4 to tv?

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Chromecast works with pretty much any device, but you can't strictly "mirror" it to the TV with Chromecast. You can however play and manipulate video or music from Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, or the "Play" suite.

    • Mental_Moose

      Considering how it works and what already works (like Liam mentioned), I see no reason that this might not be possible at a later date, but this is just my personal speculation and in no way confirmed information.

      Also: Even if I am pretty sure that it can be done, It's too early to tell how performance will be.

  • bydavidrosen

    so if you're streaming a "chrome tab" could that tab have flash? i'm not even asking for games, but there are some video sites (no... not porn haha) that are like impossible to view on a tv without hooking up an actual computer. that would be awesome if this worked.

    an example would be the show "Burning Love" which is hilarious and is on Yahoo's Video portal. there's no way to watch it on a TV since (the new episodes) are not on youtube or any video service that any smart tv / game console / streaming box supports.

    • _jliu

      I think Flash should still work. In the demo Google did at the breakfast, they used Vimeo as an example, so that would lead me to think it would work.

      • Thomas’

        They used Vimeo to show Tab Projection - and not the Sender/Receiver API.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      My understanding is that Flash will work, though I've read that Silverlight and QuickTime won't.

      • Taylor

        Doesn't Netflix run off Silverlight?

        • mgamerz

          Chrome OS has non-silverlight. I'm going to guess its running an ARM chip just like the samsung chromebook and it has netflix support via some DRM in HTML5.

        • Bojan Gutic

          Netflix was migrated (at least partially) to HTML5 if I recall correctly. It certainly runs on ChromeOS now

      • bydavidrosen

        pretty exciting stuff :-) ... gonna get one for my mom regardless so i'll be able to try it out anyway haha.

    • Sean Thomas

      since it's mini-chrome OS in that dongle, I assume anything that works on a chromebook will work on a chromecast thing. So no plug ins that have to be installed/supported in your OS basically. Because as far as I know silverlight and quicktime..and anything else you have to install plugin-wise are supported for chrome OS. Basically what Liam said.

  • portalpirate

    The best thing this could be used for is if it can access media links from local servers--ie setup a server on a comp, put some media on it, and use chrome to access that media, like a mp4. If that can be pushed to the Chromecast, especially if it doesn't a server, it would be amazing and I would buy it right away.

    TL;DR I want to be able to push this (http://puu.sh/3L1VK.jpg) to the Chromecast.

    • mgamerz

      If you can push a web page, you might be able to have a local web server that runs a light web page that essentially is just a video player. Its a big clunky but hopefully it isn't too bad.

      • Justin W

        This was my exact response before reading yours... A local webserver casted to the Chromecast would generate a request to the local server and return the appropriate data. It should (in essence) work the same if you use something like Windows' share feature and allow info to be shared, pull it into Chrome, and cast it to the TV, though, shouldn't it?

      • Jordan Pt

        I had the same thought. I already use a webserver like this. I've always found maintaining a UPNP server a pain, so I setup a HTTP server instead. Streaming Videos to my Nexus 7 using MX Player works great and it easily works over a VPN or SSH Tunnel.

        Theroetically if the Chromecast is using WebRTC to mirror the Chrome tab like I heard from several sources, as long as it plays in your Chrome browser it should work. If it actually just loads the webpage in a stripped down Chrome browser on device then the HTTP server method should still work. In theory.

        • nuke3ae

          I don't know if you have tried Plex before but I run it on my server and it will stream and transcode my video library over the internet to my n7

          • Jordan Pt

            I've tried Plex but it also requires maintaining a library like UPNP. I'm constantly adding new videos from a variety of sources and it couldn't keep up. Also Transcoding isn't a big deal on modern devices like the Nexus 7. With Video Players like MX Player and VLC you can stream almost any format as long as you have the bandwidth. Although some Video compression codecs aren't streaming friendly(because of how the data is laid out) and I have to either download them or convert them, but that rarely happens. In the end funny enough HTTP is just better for my needs. Although I would like to figure out if I could make the File Tree UI a little bit prettier. If anybody has suggestions in that regard, I'm open.

    • shonangreg

      Maybe I'm being too simple, but if you copy path to a file and paste it into a Chrome browser tab, it may open it. I tried this with an avi on my linux desktop this morning and it seemed to work.

      • TRENT_PALMER

        Or just type "ctrl-o" if you don't like using the mouse. You are correct though, Chrome will play my bluray rips same as VLC.

  • nsnsmj

    I read Wired's piece on this and they said someone at Google has confirmed to them that this will work with Hulu, HBO Go, etc.

    In case anyone was wondering.

    • Kevin Aaronson

      I was wondering. Thanks.

  • acey_zero

    Does not appear to support Linux :-(

    • PhineasJW

      Yeah, what's up with that? Disappointing...

      • acey_zero

        For me the plugin says "This application is not supported on this computer. Installation has been disabled." But that is awesome to hear that it is not just because of Linux in general.

      • cheeto0

        it seems to mirror regular web pages with ubuntu but seems to fail for me when i try to play video on a web page in ubuntu. While on windows that worked for me every time. I hope they eventually add full linux support.

  • Jordan

    Anyone know if you can play video files off your HDD through this new service?

    • Jordan Pt

      Here's a theoretical solution:

      1. Install a Web/HTTP server to your PC. Even a very basic one will work.
      2. Point the Web server to the folder you have your MP4s/MP3s in, or copy your media to the server's folder.
      3. Open the following URL in your Chrome Browser - http://YOUR.PC.IP.ADDRESS:PORTOFSERVER/ (ex: 192.168.1.4:80)
      4. Now navigate the basic file tree to the video or music you want to play and click it.
      5. Once it starts playing in Chrome send the Tab to your Chromecast

      That's it. I don't have a Chromecast yet but it should work in
      theory. Based off of Google's own information and other sources, it's
      running a stripped down ChromeOS with support for MP4s/MP3s and HTML5.
      It seems they're using WebRTC to mirror the Chrome Tab to the device. So
      basically anything that loads in Chrome should work.

      • shayknbake

        Thanks a lot Jordan, I'm gonna do this exact thing to play home videos. My only concern is how I would be able to send the command to cast from my android rather than from my old desktop which would be running the server.

        Do you think google will enable casting from the android chrome browser?

        • Jordan Pt

          Can't say for sure, but they did hint that it will be better supported in Chrome 30. Hopefully that includes the Android version.

          The main impediment I see from getting Android support is the fact that the way it's mirroring the Webpage is through a modified version of WebRTC(Two-Way Peer-to-Peer standard) . They're using the same concept for their Chrome Remote Desktop Webapp and as with any mirroring system there is lag caused by overhead. Hopefully they can iron this out enough to get it to work on Android.

    • challenge_accepted

      No you can't. Not yet anyway.

  • Shaques

    Uh guys. I can't confirm this till I get the dongle (Amazon Prime 2 day) but I just opened up a new tab in Chrome, dropped a TV episode (mkv) on it and it started playing. Couldn't we just "chromecast" that tab?
    EDIT: Sound won't unmute for some reason.

    • leonsbuddydave

      I'd assume no - the dongle works by sitting on the same network as the device (just for control purposes), but pulling the content from the web the same way any other device does. Files local to your computer probably won't work.

      • Shaques

        Yeah, I was thinking about that. And there's no way for Play Movies to locate / play local files from the device?

      • Thomas’

        Well, your PC or smartphone can be "the web". It could just open a HTTP server and be the Chromecast Receiver and Sender at the same time.

    • Jordan Pt

      You'll need to do an extra step first. You need to make the media available to the network first so basically this is what you'll need to do:

      1. Install a Web/HTTP server to your PC. Even a very basic one will work.
      2. Point the Web server to the folder you have your MP4s/MP3s in, or copy your media to the server's folder.
      3. Open the following URL in your Chrome Browser - http://YOUR.PC.IP.ADDRESS:PORTOFSERVER/ (ex: 192.168.1.4:80)
      4. Now navigate the basic file tree to the video or music you want to play and click it.
      5. Once it starts playing in Chrome send the Tab to your Chromecast

      That's it. I don't have a Chromecast yet but it should work in theory. Based off of Google's own information and other sources, it's running a stripped down ChromeOS with support for MP4s/MP3s and HTML5. It seems they're using WebRTC to mirror the Chrome Tab to the device. So basically anything that loads in Chrome should work.

      • Mario Limonciello

        I don't think you actually need the web server on the PC though. When you are running a "non-optimized" google cast it does indeed mirror the tab using webrtc rather than load it remotely on the chromecast dongle. So it should work on file URLs, web URL's. Now when you hit Netflix, Google Play, and other things that are optimized it does load a special receiver app HTML5 page that just is controlled by the sender app on your local chrome.

        • Jordan Pt

          Yeah, but since not many people actually have used the device we don't know for sure what it does when presented with a direct Video URL. Preferably I'd like it if in that situation it'd stream the actual file so that stream performance would be much higher(less chance of choppy playback and out of sync sound) and there'd be less overhead on the serving PC.

          • Mario Limonciello

            Yeah me too. I haven't made sense of the developer documentation entirely but I think it's going to come down to in order to have it handle direct video URL's you'll need to do some extra work with on the server. You'll need to add some code on a webserver pages to make it claim it knows how to cast from that URL directly and set up the appropriate receiver code to be pulled up on the chromecast dongle.

          • Jordan Pt

            I have no doubt some dev is gonna be all over this once it really starts rolling out and makes his own solution and then shares it :)

    • MeCampbell30

      Wow, I didn't even know Chrome could play videos.

      • mikeym0p

        It can open .pdfs, .flv and flash games too. All you have to do is type the path to the file or drag it into chrome.
        I used to distribute portable chromes in school with 50 flash games since our school blocked regular sites citing they're 'for games'

  • Erik Knudsen

    The fact that they put this out for the vast majority of operating systems is awesome.

  • David

    I just want Plex support.
    Also, why can't an android device act as a Chromecast client? I have an unused Galaxy Nexus I could throw behind my TV and hook up via my HDMI dongle.

    • KanishkSingh

      It probably can but they are not gonna spend time on doing that. Its easier to come out with a cheaper and a easy to setup device. Plus not all devices have HDMI.

      • David

        Good point. Although you'd be surprised how many phones support HDMI via their microUSB charging port. My phone doesn't list the ability anywhere, yet it works like a charm!

        • KanishkSingh

          Agree, another problem is there is no standard api for all the different types of HDMI which are available whether its a direct hdmi or using some other proprietary standard.
          You never know if some dev ports it for Android phones to act as a chromecast dongle with an app.

  • Shaques

    I have a question for you guys: If Netflix on android with 4.3 will stream in 1080p now does that mean if switch it to ChromeCast I'd get 1080p as well? I ask because my internet provider, according to Netflix's Super HD support page, does not support it. So is it possible to do so via Chromecast if I can't via AppleTV / PS3, etc? I'm assuming I'll still have to wait for provider support.

    • Itchy_Robot

      I'm wondering the same thing. I don't think my bandwidth will handle 1080P either. I'm worried that it might stutter when is trying to pull such a high res video.

      • David Spivey

        From what I understand, the video will be pulled from netflix servers directly by the chromecast device, and not be pulled from your android. Therefore, no extra bandwith should be used.

  • quick

    Thanks, I was searching chrome/flags for this option in the dev channel version and couldn't find any sign of it.

    Extension will work just fine...

    • quick

      Noticed these settings in the extension's options. 720p isn't too bad it could be worse. I guess we'll wait and see how well it plays and how the audio it (sync and quality wise)

  • Kevin Aaronson

    The title is completely misleading. You can share the media from your browser, but not your BROWSER. You can't surf chrome using this dongle.

  • http://www.bordersweather.co.uk/ Andy J

    I suggest all the people speculating how the tab casting thing works should re-watch the video where this specific BETA feature was demoed, you can clearly say when he is casting his Google+ photo page to the TV, when he opens the menu on his laptop to select slideshow, the same menu opens appears on the TV, when chromecasting a tab, it is clearly a direct mirror of the tab on your computer, it is NOT pulling content from the cloud in this instance. Therefore ANY content that is playing in the tab WILL play on the chromecast - regardless of where the content lives (local or otherwise)

  • http://www.twitter.com/andrewpalozzo Andrew Palozzo

    I have a HTPC connected to my TV... I would love to have it also serve as a "ChromeCasting" device... so i can easily bounce something i stumble on my phone to the TV...

  • didibus

    I'm sure someone could make a server that uses the Chromecast SDK to serve video and music on your pc, into a format that Chromecast can stream, and convert it on the fly.

  • questions??

    Will this work being plugged into a projector?

    • shayknbake

      It should work just fine. It just won't be able to turn it on and set the proper input by itself, you would have to do that manually.

  • shayknbake

    Anyone else wondering why Google didn't call this ChromeTV? Its essentially Chrome on your TV.

  • Jess

    So you cannot mirror exactly like you could with Mac and a Apple TV BUT you can mirror individual pages. Like u take the url and use the chrome cast plugin.

  • Jess

    I wonder if we can get the dongle to come up as a device, couldn't we use Wifi Direct to stream our own vids and such from our Android phones to the TV?

  • Silhouette

    Looks like I cannot use this with OS X Leopard. The extension will not install on earlier versions of chrome

  • DanaKnits

    Anyone know if the Chrome extension will work on an Android tablet? I'm looking to use Google Drive to Cast a powerpoint presentation without the need for a separate projector, but only have a Nexus 7.

  • Roberto O. Millán Cintrón

    I tried to install the Google Cast, and it tells me that it has been disabled for my OS.
    Any idea if/when this service is going to be available for Linux Distros??

  • ElectonicsFreak

    I am trying to cast chrome installed on my Samsung Galaxy S4 on to TV using newly bought ChromeSet but it appears that Google Cast Extension (which is required for this feature) can not be installed on Android 4.2. I get the error message that webstore (from where exension can be added) is not supported on this OS. Anyone facing this problem?

    • Just Wondrin

      Me too. I'm finding out that casting internet is not supported yet from Android, as the chrome web store is not available for these OS, even if you have a chrome browser installed. Kinda dumb, and making me think of returning it.

  • cifasw

    Am I insane or is it so that I cant surf web from droid s4 to tv??? Whaaaaaat? I've looked everywhere have current version of chrome and the chromecast icon does not appear on the address bar as I thought it would

  • brkreizenbeck

    does chromecast work with any browser,or only G chrome?

  • brkreizenbeck

    bought a chromecast. it overheats,resolution sucks,can only be used with google chrome,it's a piece of shit.

  • chprout

    Can anyone help? I've got a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. I bought a Chromecast, but can't figure out how to cast to the TV.